Pet End of Life Care
End of Life Consultation
Saying goodbye to a beloved member of your family can be one of the hardest decisions we as pet owners can have to make. Our team will be here to guide you through end-of-life care and the difficult decisions that come with it. We will answer all of your questions about hospice and euthanasia and provide you with resources for this emotional time.
Hospice Outpatient Care
You have probably heard of hospice care for humans. It is something that is offered to patients with a life-limiting or terminal illness that is designed to improve the quality of the life that they have remaining. As considerate and committed animal lovers and veterinarians, we believe that our pets deserve the same courtesy.
What is included in hospice care? What exactly will be included in your pet’s hospice care will depend on his or her individual requirements. However, typically you can expect the care provided to have some of the following:
- Nutritional support
- Maintaining adequate hydration (may involve IV and SQ fluids if your pet is no longer drinking of his or her own accord)
- Keeping your pet clean and properly groomed
- Ensuring your pet can move around their environment safely.
- Administering pain medication and any other medication that is necessary or beneficial, such as anti-nausea drugs
- Mental stimulation
- Love and attention
- Consultations with a veterinarian if and when needed
As heartbreaking as it inevitably is, choosing to give your terminally ill and suffering pet a pain-free, peaceful passing is often the kindest act you can do for your pet. Yet making this decision is usually the hardest of all. How do you know that it is the best thing for your pet? Many owners live hoping that their pet’s condition will naturally improve, but this is very rarely the case. Instead, their life quality will continue to deteriorate – something which can be unbearable to watch. Some things to think about when you are considering euthanasia for your pet include:
- Can he or she eat, drink, sleep and move around reasonably comfortably?
- Does he or she still respond to people around them?
- Is he or she interested in food, or have they been refusing to eat for some time?
The persistent refusal of food, chronic pain, distress or discomfort, and respiratory problems are all common denominators amongst animals who are considered for euthanasia. However, you and your family know your pet better than anyone else. Our veterinary team will take your judgment into account if and when we make a recommendation for or against euthanasia. The process itself is very straightforward and involves giving your pet an injection containing an overdose of anesthetic into a vein in the front leg. The tiny prick of the needle is barely noticeable, and your pet will quickly become unconscious. From this point, any chronic pain that she would usually feel is gone, and within a few minutes or so, their heart will stop beating, and they will slip away. The majority of euthanasia procedures proceed very smoothly and with little or no distress for your pet.
Please contact us to discuss aftercare options which include private cremation with ashes returned in a beautiful urn, standard cremation without ashes returned, or home burial. We work with a very compassionate crematorium with high integrity to take care of your cremation needs. They offer a variety of urn options as well as other great ways to cherish your loved one, such as clay paw or nose prints in shadow boxes, inkblots prints of paws or noses, as well as other options.
At every step along the way, we promise to care for your pet as if they were our own. When you choose to have your pet’s ashes returned to you with a private cremation, one complimentary urn is included of the following six choices. A nameplate is included on all urns except the round metal urn. We make all arrangements on your behalf and will contact you when your ashes have been returned to our hospital, which should be about seven days later.
Serenity Urn – Add a favorite photo of your beloved friend to their final resting place and remember a life well lived.
Cedar Memorial Urn – This classic urn is a timeless way to preserve treasured keepsakes and remember your pet.
Remembrance Urn – This urn demonstrates simplicity through beauty as an enduring home for your beloved pet.
Hand-Carved Rosewood Urn – Enjoy the beauty and detail of this hand-carved piece of art that graces the top of this unique wooden urn.
Decorative Metal Urn – This lightweight metal urn has a timeless handcrafted design to cherish your beloved pet for many years to come. Available in Blue or Tan.
Pet Cremation Keepsake – When grieving the loss of a dog or cat, it can be comforting to have a keepsake to cherish. Clay paw print memorials are an excellent way to remember and honor your special pet. Paw prints, much like handprints, are one-of-a-kind. The clay impressions on our paw print memorials reveal the unique outline and markings of your pet’s paw. A nameplate is included. (Additional charge. Can be made with either private or communal cremation.)
It’s natural to feel grief and sadness when a beloved pet passes away. For many of us, a pet is a member of our family, bringing fun, companionship, and joy to our lives. Agape Pet Services offers pet bereavement resources during your time of loss.